HC Deb 22 February 1962 vol 654 cc610-2
7. Mr. Woodnutt

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will give an assurance that the level of employment in Malta Dockyard will be maintained during development work.

Mr. Maudling

The contract work is planned so as to involve the minimum dislocation to the yard but I cannot guarantee that there will be no fluctuations of the employment level during this period. I know, however, that the company has this aspect very much in mind.

8. Mr. Woodnutt

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will give details of the extent to which Bailey (Malta) Limited may use its own direct labour on the Dockyard Development Plan.

Mr. Maudling

The company may undertake with its own labour the work of modifying the fixed assets and services of the Dockyard up to a present limit of £650,000. The company may also use its own labour in the manufacture and installation of plant and equipment, but in the case of items costing over £2,500 only if tenders have been invited and the company's is the lowest.

Mr. Woodnutt

Whilst thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, and bearing in mind that while the redevelopment plan is in progress there are bound to be one or more docks out of action from time to time, may I ask whether he would not be well advised to increase this limit of £2,500 so that if men are put off from working on ships, at least they can be employed on the development programme?

Mr. Maudling

The figure is the result of pretty lengthy negotiations with the company. Different principles are involved here, but I think that we have reached the right figure. If things involve more than £2,500 there should be a tender to ensure that prices are appropriate.

Mr. G. M. Thomson

Should it not be the overriding consideration during this redevelopment work that as many jobs as possible should be provided for the workers in Malta?

Mr. Maudling

Yes, Sir, but on the other hand one should make sure that charges for work done are reasonable.

Mr. Awbery

Has the employment position improved or become worse since Messrs. Bailey changed over from the naval dockyard to the commercial dockyard?

Mr. Maudling

I should need notice of that question.

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